Involvement of Striatal Cholinergic Interneurons and M1 and M4 Muscarinic Receptors in Motor Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease


  • Ztaou Samira
  • Maurice Nicolas
  • Camon Jeremy
  • Guiraudie-Capraz Gaëlle
  • Kerkerian-Le Goff Lydia
  • Beurrier Corinne
  • Liberge Martine
  • Amalric Marianne


  • Basal ganglia
  • Cholinergic interneurons
  • Motor symptoms
  • Muscarinic receptors
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Striatum

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Over the last decade, striatal cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) have reemerged as key actors in the pathophysiology of basal-ganglia-related movement disorders. However, the mechanisms involved are still unclear. In this study, we address the role of ChI activity in the expression of parkinsonian-like motor deficits in a unilateral nigrostriatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion model using optoge-netic and pharmacological approaches. Dorsal striatal photoinhibition of ChIs in lesioned ChAT cre/cre mice expressing halorhodopsin in ChIs reduces akinesia, bradykinesia, and sensorimotor neglect. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) blockade by scopolamine produces similar anti-parkinsonian effects. To decipher which of the mAChR subtypes provides these beneficial effects, systemic and intrastriatal administration of the selective M1 and M4 mAChR antagonists telenzepine and tropicamide, respectively, were tested in the same model of Parkinson's disease. The two compounds alleviate 6-OHDA lesion-induced motor deficits. Telenzepine produces its beneficial effects by blocking postsynaptic M1 mAChRs expressed on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) at the origin of the indirect striatopallidal and direct striatonigral pathways. The anti-parkinsonian effects of tropicamide were almost completely abolished in mutant lesioned mice that lack M4 mAChRs specifically in dopamine D1-receptor-expressing neurons, suggesting that postsynaptic M4 mAChRs expressed on direct MSNs mediate the antiakinetic action of tropicamide. The present results show that altered cholinergic transmission via M1 and M4 mAChRs of the dorsal striatum plays a pivotal role in the occurrence of motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease.

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